Walker Wright Critiques Nibley’s “Leaders to Managers”

2013-05-20 carell like a bossOver at Worlds Without End, Walker Wright (fellow blogger and frequent commenter here at DR) has an excellent article critiquing one of Hugh Nibley’s most famous essays. The essay Walker is criticizing is Leaders to Managers: The Fatal Shift, and Walker’s article is titled Like a Boss.

When I was serving my mission, I found out that FARMS (now the Maxwell Institute) had a bunch of Nibley’s articles online. I was in the office at the time (trying to wrangle visa problems and tax audits) and reading Nibley’s articles saved my sanity. But, as much as I love Nibley, his anti-business bias really bothered me as being fundamentally uncurious–in contrast with his otherwise expansive intellect–and after studying economics myself I’m more sad than ever that Nibley never took the time to understand some of his favorite rhetorical punching bags. “Leaders to Managers” is a great example of that, and I like Walker’s take on it.

4 thoughts on “Walker Wright Critiques Nibley’s “Leaders to Managers””

  1. Thanks for both the link and your original feedback. I remember a Mormon scholar I admire making the comment on how he doesn’t find much of Nibley’s work in ancient history useful, but he thinks his social commentary (particularly ‘Approaching Zion’) is his absolute best work. This is probably because this scholar is an expert in the Ancient Near East and knows nothing of economics or business.

  2. No problem, Walker. I had a fun time reading it before it went live. I’m an insider now! :-P

    I also know you’ve got more ideas where this came from–about the intersection of business/econ and theology–and I’m looking forward to seeing more of them.

  3. Walker’s essay is superb. I’ve told him that he ought to write a book, a theological/philosophical one on business (or in other words, on Zion). More than any single person that I can think of, Walker’s reasonable and highly intelligent thoughts have helped change my view on business and its relation to the gospel.

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